• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Odysseus - The Epic Hero

Extracts from this document...


Marc Beauchamp Period 1 October 28, 2002 Odysseus: The Epic Hero Many great adventures have been passed down through time, whether it be by writings, or by word of mouth. Great tales have come in many forms as well, some as long, narrative poems, otherwise known as epics, and some simply written or told as a story. Several of these tales are about a hero and many of his adventures and ordeals. One of the most famous adventure stories of all time is Homer's The Odyssey. The story The Odyssey is about one man's journey home from battles at Troy and the challenges he must face. Through all these trials it's apparent that Odysseus, The Odyssey's main character, is in fact an epic hero. Odysseus is an epic hero for several reasons, the least of which being simply the fact that he is the hero of the epic. The epic itself revolves around the many perils Odysseus has to overcome. ...read more.


When he defeats others, he lets them know who he is. For instance, after blinding and tricking the Cyclops Odysseus says, "Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye" (908). To sum up, Odysseus is a very important figure, in many ways. Odysseus is a man of great stature. He is an incredibly large and strong individual. Penelope gives all the suitors the test of using Odysseus' hunting bow to shoot an arrow "through iron ax-helve sockets, twelve in line" (937). They all fail and none of them "can even bend [the hunting bow] enough to string it" (937). When Odysseus is given the test he "in one motion [strings] the bow. Then [slides] his right hand down the cord and [plucks] it, so the taut gut vibrating hummed and sang a swallow's note" (939). ...read more.


He finds ways to help his men as best he can. Even when he returns to his home in Ithaca twenty years later, many of his men still remember him and respect him. When his soldiers discover Odysseus has returned home, they "[throw] their arms around the old soldier, weeping, kissing his head and shoulders" (938). Finally, Odysseus is recognized as a very intelligent man by many people. The gods realize it enough to be willing to help him on his journey. It's apparent of this because Athena is the goddess of wisdom. To summarize, many of Odysseus' abilities are very useful and well respected by those around him. Odysseus' abilities, skills, importance, and wits make him an epic hero. He makes use of all his skills in order to overcome the hardships he must face. The great action in Odysseus' adventures make the story The Odyssey one of the most famous stories, or even pieces of literature of all times. To this extent, it's obvious why The Odyssey has been passed down through so many years and told in so many different forms. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Aeneas can be considered an excellent hero. Discuss.

    5 star(s)

    This view that Aeneas cares deeply for his men is strengthened immediately upon his arrival in which Aeneas takes it upon himself to search for his missing men which shows how dearly he cares for their wellbeing. It occurs again during Book V in which, struggling with misery and guilt

  2. Beowulf, the title character of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, is a classic epic hero, ...

    He faces a reality by showing no fear and preparing for a positive or a fatal outcome.

  1. Whom do you admire more as a leader – Odysseus in the Odyssey or ...

    must survive (fate has decreed it so), but it is out of compassion for the dead that will die. Odysseus, though divinely endorsed in his slaughtering of the suitors never even considers the suitor Amphinomus, "a man of principle", "sensible" and "intelligent", worthy of a moments pause.

  2. Assess the significance of the Gods in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

    Penelope at first ascribes the act to 'one of the immortals' indignation at their violence and evil-doing' (23.4). When old Laertes hears the news, his response is to cry 'By Father Zeus, you gods are still there on high Olympus if those Suitors have really paid the price for their outrageous insolence!'

  1. What impression is given of Aeneas as a man and as a leader in ...

    Even through these periods of extreme temptation and immensely beautiful women, Odysseus wants to return home. He is driven by the goddess Athene but she is not the true reason for his passionate longing for Ithaca. Aeneas is different. He no longing to go home, he has no home.

  2. The Tragic Hero

    For centuries tragedies were held up as moral illustrations of the consequences of sin. Given the nature of most tragedies, however, it is best not to think of hamartia as tragic flaw. While the concept of a moral character flaw may apply to certain tragic figures, it seems inappropriate for many others.

  1. The narrative epic, 'The Odyssey' composed by Homer between 750 and 650 BC recounts ...

    Look to yourself; remember what I told you." Telemachus replied: "Friend, you have done me kindness, like a father to his son, and I shall not forget your counsel ever. You must get back to sea, I know, but come take a hot bath, and rest; accept a gift to make you heart lift up when you embark-

  2. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    Ultimately leading to a more stable and powerful Rome. He succeeded in achieving his two main aims as a general, to prepare for his political career, and to engage the Roman people in his vision for a new empire. On the defeat of a German intrusion into Gaul Caesar applied

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work